The Ultimate Guide to Finding Clarity (and Purpose) in Life and Business
Posted on 26 December 2019
Looking to gain clarity about your life, business, or what you should be doing right now?  Then you are in the right place!

My name is Jason R. Shine, and I am the founder of REAL Smart Consulting, LLC - a coaching and personal development company that helps professionals, entrepreneurs and motivated people gain the confidence they need to see the change they want in their lives.

Since 2015, we've helped businesses double in size in less than a year; visionaries go from an idea to a product or service within months; solopreneurs launch teams in one year instead of three; and professionals confidently transition from job to mission.  All of this has been possible thanks to the power of our number one product:  CLARITY.
Clarity leads to confidence, and confidence leads to the change you want to see in your life. A lot of people get freaked-out and frustrated when we start talking about finding clarity and purpose. The reason is that they don’t really know where to start. The truth is, however, that the path to clarity is a lot simpler than you might think. 

That’s why I created this ultimate guide, where I show you the five simple steps you can follow today to see life more clearly. Here goes...

Five Steps to Finding Clarity & Purpose

  • The Decision
  • ​The AGE Question
  • ​MVVB
  • ​Find Your GPS
  • ​Determine Your ETA

1 - Make the Decision

A Chinese proverb says "the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step." Anything you do in life, especially things worth doing, will require a decision be made to start. The same is true about your deciding to find clarity and purpose in your life. You must have a compelling reason to want it, and then make the decision to take the steps necessary for obtaining it.

2 - Answer the AGE Question

I remember sitting in my private office at my old real estate brokerage in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia.  My then girlfriend and I had a decent sales business going.  We were in the top 20%; making a little bit of money; and helping a lot of people with their real estate needs.  But as I sat in my office, I felt like there was more to life and more to business than the road we were on.  That's when I decided to dig deeper to figure out what it was that I was missing.  It was during this process that I discovered the AGE question that helped focus my effort and attention, and set me on the path to becoming the coach and consultant I am today.  Following are three key questions that will help you to identify your passions so that you can operate with more clarity, and ultimately find fulfillment.  Here goes...

What Makes You ANGRY?

That was the first question I asked myself.  I use a bit of Marvel's Avengers to help illustrate the importance of this question.  One of my favorite characters is the Incredible Hulk.  On a normal day, Hulk exists as a pretty typical scientist.  When something ticks him off, however, he transforms into a giant green beast that cannot be stopped.  

Anger is an "e-motion" that causes you to move or take action.  That action, just as is in the case of Hulk, can be either constructive or destructive.  You owe it to yourself and your purpose to evaluate what it is that will cause you to transform from regular you into a force that cannot be hindered.

When I answered this question for myself, I realized what angered me most was seeing people going about life as if there were nothing more to existence than breathing in air.  Having much potential, but improperly stewarded; living a devalued and cheapened life. 

What is it that makes you angry?  Take a minute and write down all the things that come to mind immediately.  (Use notepaper or try our 20/20 Clarity Journal™).  Don't qualify your responses or try to be politically correct.  This exercise is about you and your purpose.  Go ahead, write!

What Makes You GRIEVE?

After getting a little clarity about what pushed my anger button, grief was the next emotion I addressed.  I asked myself what made me sad when I experienced, encountered or saw it in life.  That's when it hit me and I started noticing some interesting things.  It was seeing people hanging out on the streets wandering aimlessly; engaging in activities that were harmful to themselves and to others that grieved me the most.

Do you see the connection?  The same type of situation that angered me also caused me grief.  People not recognizing their value; being clueless about their purpose and living lives well below their potential both angered me and caused me grief.  Wow!

Upon further reflection and evaluation I realized something that is key.  Anger and grief are the same emotion with different manifestations.  While anger typically led to some action (either positive or negative), grief on the other hand caused me to withdraw.  I liken it to retreating into a cave.  Perhaps, it's a variant of the fight or flight response:  anger causing you to stay and fight; grief causing you to run and hide.  But why is that?

I reasoned that grief is a result of feeling incapable of solving a problem.  If you feel like you don't have the power to change something (whether true or not), then the defense mechanism is to avoid it altogether.  If you cannot successfully stand and fight, the next best thing is to retreat to supposed safety.  That's what grief does.

What are the things that you have been hiding from?  What is it that saddens you that you feel you can do nothing about?  Take another minute, use your journal and write them down.  Note:  it's ok if you begin to feel a bit emotional.  That's sort of the point of this exercise:  to connect you with the emotions that will cause you to move.

What Brings You EXCITEMENT and joy?

After the powerful conclusions I reached from the first two questions, I asked myself the final one listed above.  Aside from a few toys, adventures and cool gadgets I'd like to have, what I found brought me excitement and joy made complete sense. Seeing people realize that they are significant and created with a purpose; helping them decide and act on that purpose; and finally helping them with the systems and tools to bring it excited me greatly.  In fact, not only did it excite me, but it has brought me the most fulfillment and joy.  After some planning and transition, I left full-time real estate sales and launched a successful coaching and consulting practice (REAL Smart Consulting, LLC) in 2015.

Return to your journal and write down the things that excite you.  You shouldn't be surprised if you find what excites you is the exact opposite of what angers or grieves you.  

The conclusion I drew from all this was a simple one.  I could spend my life angry; I could spend it hiding from the things that troubled me the most; or I could decide to face them and do something constructive about them.  Rather than moving away from grief, I could focus on pursuing the solution that excited me and brought me joy.  Same is true for you.  You can make the decision today to pursue the dream that you buried years ago.  You can tackle the thing that you thought was impossible.  You have the power to do something about the thing you are most passionate about.  It is already in you!
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3 - Your Mission | Vision | Value(s) | Beliefs

Now that you have a foundation to build from, let's take the passions you've discovered and make them a little clearer. To do this we will use a format I call MVVB, which stands for "mission, vision, value/values and beliefs." Download your free template here.


There are a lot of ideas out there when it comes to writing a mission statement. I want to get away from all the theories and trendy concepts and give you something practical to work with. It's better to have a clear mission than to have the perfect statement that ends up being something pretty to put on the wall. Your mission should not only be what you are about, but at its core, who you are.  

The late motivator and ministry leader Myles Munroe said, "When purpose is not known, abuse is inevitable." Mission answers the question of purpose. Why do you exist and what problem do you solve?


Vision is an often misunderstood concept. If we follow the second habit found in Stephen Covey's The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and "begin with the end in mind," then we are well on the way to having the right vision. In simple terms, vision can be formulated by projecting yourself sometime in the future and seeing what the world around you looks like as a result of your having accomplished your mission.  

When you fulfill the purpose you've stated, what is the resulting impact on you; your family; your community; and the world? That's your vision.


What do you bring to someone's life that is positively transformative? How is his or her life improved by encountering you? That's your value.  

Value is about more than just stating the solution you offer and what it's benefits are. You should think deeper about the impact you are actually making. The product I bring with my coaching practice is clarity. That clarity leads to greater confidence and ultimately my clients' ability to commit to the change they want to see. My true value is found in the change, and varies from person to person. For some, the value may be finding more quality time to spend with family, which fosters more confident children and a happier spouse. For others, it might be the ability to finally put together the pieces of a confusing past and use the experience to mentor others through their own process.  

Whatever is the impact you bring, someone is waiting for you to deliver it.  


There are things in my life that are "non-negotiable." Things like operating with integrity; honesty; consideration; faithfulness. They are the components of my values. Knowing what your values are helps you to communicate them to others. The ability to effectively communicate your values in turn helps you to attract the right people and repel the others.

When a relationship doesn't work out - whether personally or professionally - it can most likely be traced back to a difference in some key values. Perhaps, one values creating win-win scenarios, while the other believes someone should always lose. Maybe one believes in being completely transparent, while the other values more privacy. It's not a debate as to which is right or wrong. What is important is that you understand what you value, and know who best to associate with who shares your values.


Like values, beliefs help shape our perspectives and approach to life. You can have beliefs about many things: money, family, business, spirituality...the list goes on. There are, however, some beliefs that impact your decision-making more than others.

For me, I believe that everyone is significant. That everything is created with a purpose, and that it is our moral obligation to find out what that purpose is. These deeply held beliefs influence how I communicate with others; how I see them; and what I expect from them. 

What beliefs do you have about life?

4 - Use Your GPS

Now that you have a clear mission and vision, it's time to map out the path to fulfillment. To do this, I like to use a process similar to a function on the device that you're probably reading this on. Global Positioning Systems (GPS) work - in its simplest description - by identifying where you are in the world. We use this technology all the time when we use our phones and cars to navigate us around town.

In order for GPS to work, you need two basic pieces of information: where you are and where you are going. Once you plug that information in, the system calculates the best route options and provides you with the roadmap to your destination.

The same is true for your life and business. You need to know where you are now in relation to where you want to be. From there, you can formulate a plan to get you there.  

As a coach, I am often asked the question, "Is my goal realistic?" I always return to my GPS analogy and ask them if it is possible to drive from their house to someplace local to them. The answer is an easy yes. I follow by asking if they can drive from their house to a state across the country. With some pause (and likely calculation), they typically respond with a confident yes.  

My point in the road trip analogy is that both short trips and cross county tours are equally realistic and possible. What determines the end result is whether you have a clear route to the goal, and whether you are willing to stick with the plan that leads you there.

5 - Determine Your ETA

One of my favorite features of GPS navigation systems is their ability to provide an estimated time of arrival (ETA). This helps when planning for departure and when updating others about when they can expect you. ETA is not only useful for traveling on the highway, but also on the journey of life.  

The ETA I'm talking about here is not estimating your arrival, but does impact how long it will take to get from where you are in life to where you want to be. This ETA stands for encouragement, troubleshooting and accountability.


Life can be tough. Business is a challenge. You will need encouragement when you are following your plan but still run into a roadblock. Detours and delays are a part of the process, but it doesn't mean that you won't be frustrated by it. That's when you will need someone on your corner to coach you through it. To help you get back up when you feel like turning around.

There's another time you will need encouragement, though. It's not only when you feel low and in a pit. I've found that you sometimes need encouragement the most when you are "flying high" and everything is going well. It is very easy to lock in on cruise control and become complacent. It's in those times that you need a kick in the butt; an encouragement to do more and become more than what you've settled for. Comfort is the enemy of change.


If you are going to accomplish anything worthwhile in life, you are going to experience frustration. I have written a lot about the topic. In fact, I have identified three specific types of frustration: static, passive and active.  

Static frustration occurs when you don't know what to do, and because you don't know what to do, you do nothing. Passive frustration occurs when you know what to do, but because of various reasons, you don't take action. It could be a lack of confidence; a supposed lack of resources; procrastination or just plain laziness. Active frustration, however, occurs when you know what to do; you are taking action; but you are not getting the results that you were expecting and desire.

Active frustration is where I have been in my own development. I felt like I was running around in circles; going nowhere. It's in these times that you need outside support to help you troubleshoot what you are doing. It could be that you are on the right path, but because of some slight and almost unnoticeable error on your part, you are not getting the where you want to go.  

I've heard it said before that if a pilot flying from England were just two degrees off from the correct path to New York, it is very possible that the plane could end up in another state altogether. Having troubleshooting support helps you to see and address your blindspots.


I don't typically use four letter words in my writing, but for some the "A" word is just that. I believe it's because of the way accountability has been delivered by some. In reality, accountability can take many forms. I look at it as a shepherd's rod. When a sheep goes astray, one end has a hook to bring them back in. On the other end, it can deliver a loving nudge in the right direction.  

Accountability is about accounting for where you are on your journey and following through on what remains to be done.        

Are you clear?

Hopefully, by now you have gained a bit more clarity than you had before you started this ultimate guide. It is important to remember that this is a journey, and you should celebrate every step you take along the way.  

If you know that finding clarity is what you need to do right now to increase your confidence and see change in your life, then we have a very impactful and supportive community in the A Life ABOV™ Mastermind, and we'd love to welcome you to the family.  

The total focus in the A Life ABOV™ Mastermind is helping you to be confident about what you need to do to be successful in your life and business. This is accomplished via:
  • A community of like-minded purpose chasers who are here to encourage and support you on your journey.
  • A Private Online Group where my team and I answer your questions; provide resources and support; share resources and tools; and foster an engaging, inspirational atmosphere.
  • ​Detailed videos and recorded web classes that give you step-by-step instructions on how to apply the principles we teach to your journey.
  • ​LIVE weekly Group Coaching and Q&A session where you can ask all your specific questions
  • ​Local offline meet-up chapters with full leadership support 
The A Life ABOV™ Mastermind is a great place to erase the question marks in your life and replace them with confidence and passion. We welcome those who are just getting started; those who are on the journey and looking for support; and those who are already clear about their purpose and want to connect with others who are committed to pursuing it daily.
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